Oct 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden won't shield initial Trump White House records from Jan. 6 panel

Photo of Joe Biden speaking on the left and Donald Trump speaking on the right

Photos: Olivier Douliery/AFP and Brandon Bell via Getty Images

President Biden has waived executive privilege on the initial set of White House documents produced in response to the Jan. 6 select committee's requests for information, press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Friday.

Why it matters: Former President Trump's legal team has moved to block some of the requests by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to side step congressional scrutiny. But the Biden administration has maintained that they will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

What they're saying: "As a part of this process, the president has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives," Psaki said.

  • "These are unique and extraordinary circumstances," Biden's White House counsel wrote in a letter to the National Archives, which was obtained by NBC News.

The big picture: The Biden administration previously decided not to shield certain former Justice Department officials who had been called to testify before Congress.

Worth noting: Trump has also tried to claim executive privilege so allies like Steven Bannon can refuse to comply with subpoenas from the select committee, per the New York Times.

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